Letters to the editor, Dec. 11, 2023

On disagreeing better, regression and radicals

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Kudos to the governors

I was proud and happy to see Governor Polis of Colorado and Governor Cox of Utah on national TV promoting a promising solution to the nation’s problems, a program the National Governors Association calls “Disagree Better.” (Face the Nation, Dec. 3)

We absolutely need more of this kind of program, but we need other efforts to go along with it.

Because so many families are broken by divorce in America, young people in all walks of life are often angry, depressed and anxious. They don’t tend to disagree nicely. We need to enact public policy that helps stabilize marriages. That way, children are not left to fight their way through life without two good parental examples close by to guide them. Kids grow up much nicer that way.

We also need schools to teach everyone’s responsibility to participate in public affairs and to teach what democracy needs in candidates for office. Democracy needs folks who are not ambitious for power and wealth but ambitious to serve and teach, like our two exemplary governors.  

— Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross, Utah

The People’s Republic is regressing

There was a time — it seems long ago — that Boulder was termed “The People’s Republic” because of its free spirit and “leftist” tendencies in a state soberly focussed on business interests. Citizens, aiming to preserve the beauty and visibility of the Flatirons and surrounding scenery, passed “quality of life” building and zoning regulations and voted to purchase open space holdings in nearby farmland. 

The University was a gem at the center of the city, and the controversial “pinko” Howard Higman was a standout professor in the sociology department. Students rallied against a Conservative, “overlord” administration and Board of Regents headed by Golden’s Joe Coors, and eventually against the draft and war in Vietnam. 

Through all this, the Democratic Party thrived. 

Today’s “progressive” Democratic Party, seemingly dazzled by the glamor and wealth pouring into town, can no longer be called a party of the people but one of corporate business development. Similarly, the University has become more a bullying corporate landlord focussed on constant expansion than a public institution of higher learning. 

People and neighborhood concerns are merely bothersome trivialities. Looking forward, this ascendency of power feels far more regressive than progressive. 

— Robert Porath, Boulder

Palestine should look to the IRA

I have been a supporter of the Palestinians for about 30 years. In 2002, I convinced the other members of a CU-Boulder group (Students for Justice in Northern Ireland) that we should endorse the campus Coalition for Justice in Palestine. In the last 15 years, one of the main topics on my blog is supporting the Palestinians. But an even bigger part of my blog is about opposing anti-Semitism, and I’m proud to say that those two parts of my blog overlap heavily.

There are many progressives who reject anti-Semitism but have failed to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 offensive. Although that failure is not necessarily bigoted, what Hamas did is bigoted. They are religious fundamentalists and overwhelmingly targeted civilian life, and it was Jews they were after. 

As someone who looks back and supports almost everything the IRA did in The Troubles, I condemn the Oct. 7 pogrom, but I would not condemn a Palestinian effort that resembles what the IRA did — targeting the security forces and (using methods that almost always prevent civilian death) destroying government and commercial property.

Why would I say something like that? Because although what happened Oct. 7 was horrible, the Palestinians have very serious and legitimate grievances. Those Palestinians who are Israeli citizens experience a fair amount of inequality (the State is officially Jewish — it cannot be simultaneously democratic). Those in the West Bank have it even worse: They are state-less — they have no citizenship and thus no civil rights. And those in Gaza the last two months have endured a nightmare much worse than living in the world’s largest open-air prison, which was their existence for almost two decades until the last month.

They have every reason to be furious at the Israeli state. Intentionally killing civilians in war is wrong and, in this case, bigoted. Palestinians should leave that to Israel and/or its settlers, as we see in the West Bank and Gaza.

There must be a ceasefire!

— Tom Shelley, Boulder

Too radical

I’ve unsubscribed from this publication because you are way too left and are a danger to society. Your article on Henry Kissinger (“Kiss Off, Henry,” Dec. 7) was the last straw and shows how radical your publication is.

Merry Christmas.

— Michael Barker

These letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly. Got your own opinion? Send it to [email protected]


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